Leek and Ginger Matzo Balls in Lemongrass Consomme

A while back, I decided to try my hand at homemade matzo ball soup. I found this recipe in Bon Appetit and was immediately drawn to it. I made this as part of a “Eeastover” meal (a combination of Easter and Passover) back in Spring, fudging it just a tiny bit. I plan to make it again soon… it was delicious!

It’s definitely not a quick dish and takes quite a bit of prep and effort, but it’s well worth it. Perhaps the best matzo ball soup I have ever had.

Leek and Ginger Matzo Balls in Lemongrass Consomme
Serves 6


1 large chicken, skinned and cut into pieces (I buy mine at Wholefoods and have them skin it and cut it up for me)
4 whole lemon grass stalks, halved lengthwise, cut into 3-inch pieces
2 celery stalks, cut into 3-inch peices
2 garlic cloves, peed and halved
Peel of 1 large lime, cut off in strips with a vegetable peeler (I used zest)
1/2 large white onion
1 6- to 7-inch piece large leek (White and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise
1 1-inch long piece of fresh ginger, peeled and halved
1 tablespoon (or more) fresh lemon juice

Place chicken in extra large pot. Add next 7 ingredients and then enough cold water to cover (about 18 cups). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer soup (for at least) 2 hours, skimming impurities as they rise to the surface. Let stand 30 minutes.

Strain consomme into a large saucepan. Boil until reduced to 8 cups, if necessary. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, season with salt and pepper.

This can be made up to 2 days in advance. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Fat will form a solid layer on top. Remove the fat and reserve it for the Matzo Balls.


Matzo Balls

 4 large eggs
1/3 c finely chopped leek (white and pale green parts only)
1/3 c chicken broth or club soda (I used club soda)
1 1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt
1 tsp finely grated peeled fresh ginger
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
1 c unsalted matzo meal
Chopped fresh chives

Whisk 4 eggs in  medium bowl (as you can see, I missed this part of the directions and just put everything in the bowl all at once! Mix in leek, chicken fat, broth, coarse salt, ginger and pepper.


Stir in matzo meal. Cover; chill at least 4 hours.

Using wet hands, shape generous 2 tablespoon matzo mixture into balls. Place on sheet of foil. Bring large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Drop matzo balls in; cover pot. Reduce heat to low; simmer until matzo balls are cooked through, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer matzo balls in single layer to shallow dish.

These can be made up to 1 day in advance. Cover and chill.

When you rewarm the consomme, add more lemon juice by the teaspoonfuls (to taste), if desired. Add matzo balls; simmer to reheat, 5 to 10 minutes. Divide matzo balls and consomme among 6 bowls. Garnish with chopped chives.

And the finished product… fabulous! Bon Appetit recommended serving this soup with a fragrant white wine, such as a Gewurstraiminer.


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